In our technology-driven world, consumers have become dependent on using technology to shop and communicate with their favorite brands, making it critical for companies to embrace technology and create a brand experience that fits all types of shoppers. As a retailer or manufacturer, thinking of new and creative ways to attract new customers and keep your current ones means fitting into their lifestyles. As the digital world permeates every aspect of consumers’ lives through the pervasive use of mobile technology, having an either strictly brick and mortar or strictly online shop is no longer beneficial.
With payments shifting from traditional credit cards and money to mobile devices and e-wallets, there are three major ways giving your customers an omni-channel shopping experience will undoubtedly strengthen your brand and customer relationships.
With so many options and very little product differentiation for the average consumer’s buying process, brands have to find a unique way to break through the clutter and directly reach their customers. Creating an omni-channel experience essentially customizes the shopping process to each buyer’s’ needs enabling them to purchase the products they want anytime they want them, without any inconvenience.
Applying an eCommerce platform to a brick and mortar store to enable online shopping or creating a mobile-optimized website or application for your current in-person store, gives your customers the freedom to shop your brand on their time and in the way that suits their shopping needs. Providing your customers with a shopping experience that is customized to their lifestyles/interests and offers convenience, strengthens your brand’s customer relationships and always keeps them coming back.
With 84% of online shoppers using desktop and laptop computers to shop and 65% utilizing mobile channels, it is no question that giving your customers different mediums to shop your brand enhances their customer experience. Although brick and mortar stores still remain strong, with 62% of shoppers happily making in store purchases, leveraging the power of online and mobile can exponentially drive sales and increase your revenue.
Not only does integrating online and mobile into your brand make a powerful customer experience, but leveraging the power social media has with both channels can take your brand to a whole other level. Social media gives brands a wide reaching network to communicate and connect with their customers through the channels they use most, both mobile or online. The use of social media and implementing social commerce into your overall brand strategy, enables you to create engagement opportunities for your customers, such as contests or visual galleries, that get them excited about your brand, keeps them coming back, and attracts new and on-the-fence customers.
Between the amount of users utilizing online, mobile, and social channels and the need for brands to give their shoppers a memorable brand experience, it’s crucial for brands to remember that an omni-channel experience creates a seamless shopping process at every point of access to your brand. Whether customers are going inside your store, visiting your website on their computers or phones, or following your social media accounts, all channels need to be consistent in their look and functionality. For instance, ensuring your website is mobile-optimized makes a difference for the customer because you are allowing them to have the same website experience on their smartphones as they do on their desktop. Ensuring your mobile app matches your branding builds an inherent sense of trust as your customers interact with it.
Providing your customers a seamless process throughout each channel and at any touch point, affects the way they see you and how they shop. Enabling them to see your store and products and communicate with you through the channel they prefer without any inconvenience, not only builds strong customer engagement, but also encourages enthusiasm and customer loyalty.
Integrating an omni-channel shopping experience into your brand has many benefits. Leveraging the power of many channels and utilizing technology and social media to maximize your reach and provide a memorable customer experience will enable you to drive sales, increase revenue, and even turn on-the-fence shoppers into paying customers.